Common SEO Mistakes to Avoid in 2013
By: Justin McGill
Do one SEO tactic incorrectly, or too frequently, and you could be facing Google punishments that remove your website from their search results. This is not a gamble that most businesses can afford, as most consumers initially find a business online.
In fact, Inc.com ran a survey and found that 7 out of 10 consumers said they are more likely to use a local business if they have a social media presence and another 78% said ratings and reviews are important when deciding what to buy.
Google has made some significant changes in the last couple of years when it comes to ranking your website in search results. Google Panda and Google Penguin are the two major updates you may have heard about, and many more are coming.
Here are some of the major abuse tactics that were employed by SEO’s and some workarounds that you should be implementing in their place.
1. Lots of Advertising
Websites that existed primarily to sell advertising were a prime target of this update. Google wants to return relevant results to its users and having ad-heavy websites populate at the top of their search results were not what users wanted.
Solution: Limit your advertising and focus on the content. Content is going to be the theme of this post and for good reason; it is the theme of Google’s recent updates.
2. Duplicate or Unoriginal Content
Shortly after the Panda update that targeted web spammers, site owners were complaining that their original content was being outranked by duplicate/spam websites. They asked webmasters to help them better identify websites that scraped the original content.
Solution: It is still of utmost importance to provide original content that users find useful. Not just original in wording by saying the same thing thousands of others have stated, but by truly being useful to the audience.
3. Link Building Networks
Google ranks websites largely based on how important and relevant they deem a website to be. This is based on how many links are pointing to a website. So, naturally, SEO’s went to whatever was easiest to build links. This typically included link networks, low quality directory sites, and a host of others. Google Penguin rolled out and crushed these methods of acquiring links.
Solution: Do something or offer something meaningful to your customers or users. Build real relationships with real people offline and online to help spread the word. This is where social media can really play an important role. You want links from a variety of sources.
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In the older days of SEO, you could find a high search volume keyword and then build all your links using that keyword and put the keyword all over your website and you would be found on page 1 of search results. This technique no longer works and has been punished. In fact, if the majority of your links use the same keywords over and over, and your website has the same keywords everywhere, you probably noticed that your website completely disappeared in Google’s search results.
Solution: Build links with your company name linked instead of keywords. Sometimes don’t even actually link, as a “co-citation” is valuable as well. Use things like “Click here” when linking also. Basically, your links should be completely natural.
SEO Isn’t Just SEO Anymore
Nowadays, Google is looking at much more than on-page copy and off page links to determine their rankings. You need to have a well-rounded content marketing strategy in place (start blogging!), you need to be active and get people engaged on social media, and you probably need an updated website. Your website should be easy to use, quick to load, be responsive so it loads nicely on mobile and tablet devices, and have original website content.
How AWS helps NASCAR delight its fans
AWS needs no introduction to readers of Technology Magazine but we rarely get an opportunity to look closely at how it serves the sports sector. All major sports draw in a huge supporter base that they want to nurture and support. Technology is the key to every major sports organization and enabling this is the driving force for AWS, says Matt Hurst, Head of Global Sports Marketing and Communications for AWS. “In sports, as in every industry, machine learning and artificial intelligence and high performance computing are helping to usher in the next wave of technical sports innovation.”
AWS approaches sports in three principal areas. “The first is unlocking data’s potential: leagues and teams hold vast amounts of data and AWS is enabling them to analyze that data at scale and make better, more informed decisions. The second is engaging and delighting fans: with AWS fans are getting deeper insights through visually compelling on-screen graphics and interactive Second Screen experiences. And the third is rapidly improving sports performance: leagues and teams are using AWS to innovate like never before.”
Among the many global brands that partner with AWS are Germany's Bundesliga, the NFL, F1, the NHL, the PGA Tour and of course NASCAR. NASCAR has worked with AWS on its digital transformation (migrating it's 18 petabyte video archive containing 70 years of historical footage to AWS), to optimize its cloud data center operations and to enable its global brand expansion. AWS Media Services powers the NASCAR Drive mobile app, delivering broadcast-quality content for more than 80 million fans worldwide. The platform, including AWS Elemental MediaLive and AWS Elemental MediaStore, helps NASCAR provide fans instant access to the driver’s view of the race track during races, augmented by audio and a continually updated leaderboard. “And NASCAR will use our flagship machine learning service Amazon SageMaker to train deep learning models to enhance metadata and video analytics.”
Using AWS artificial intelligence and machine learning, NASCAR aims to deliver even more fan experiences that they'd never have anticipated. “Just imagine a race between Dale Earnhardt Sr and Dale Jr at Talladega! There's a bright future, and we're looking forward to working with NASCAR, helping them tap into AWS technology to continue to digitally transform, innovate and create even more fan experiences.”
Just as AWS is helping NASCAR bridge that historical gap between the legacy architecture and new technology, more customers are using AWS for machine learning than any other provider. As an example, who would have thought five years ago that NFL would be using ML to predict and prevent injury to its players? Since 2017, the league has utilized AWS as its official cloud and ML provider for the NFL Next Gen Stats (NGS) platform, which provides real-time location data, speed, and acceleration for every player during every play on every inch of the field. “One of the most potentially revolutionary components of the NFL-AWS partnership,” says Matt Hurst, “is the development of the 'Digital Athlete,' a computer simulation model that can be used to replicate infinite scenarios within the game environment—including variations by position and environmental factors, emphasizing the league's commitment to player safety.”